A while back, I had the pleasure of speaking to the folks at American Family Insurance, thanks to the thoughtful planning of Troy Janisch. What was interesting about the trip was that I felt that AmFam (as everyone seems to call them, so why get in the way?) were already in pretty good hands with Troy (yes, I know the competitive pun). But there are two great things about my trip that I wanted to highlight, and then I just wanted to say nice things about the people of Madison, Wisconsin.
Learning And Openness Are Attractive
Troy and the rest of the people of American Family Insurance are very far into social media. They started long before I showed up at their facility. And yet, they had me in to share with me what they’d already done, but also to be open to my ideas, to see if something new would strike them as useful. American Family pushes constant learning. They don’t stand pat on what they know, and that was very evident in their culture, from the wonderful room where I got to speak, to the way people took in the information I shared, they were most certainly a culture that valued learning and openness to ideas.
Support is Everything
Troy Janisch was clearly well-supported by the senior team. He’s a smart guy, with a lot of actionable ideas, and yet possesses the steady hand of someone who understands the speed of enterprise change. One of the reasons I’m blessed to speak at big companies like American Family is that I know that change doesn’t happen on the turn of a dime, and in this belief, I met my match with Troy Janisch. He knew pacing better than most people I encounter in the field, and even better, he had the support of a strong, smart senior team that believed in what Troy and his team were trying to accomplish.
The People of Madison Wisconsin
I met many wonderful and smart people in Madison, Wisconsin. For instance, all these photos were taken by the tireless Wendy Soucie, who had a spirit and drive that reminded me of my dear friend Whitney Hoffman. All of the people I met in Madison were that great blend of “real world tested” and “social media savvy.” Often times, I’ll get one but not the other. Neither is ever wrong, but when you get the blend, you recognize it and nod. (I felt this way about the social media people of Louisville, Kentucky, by the way.)
The people of Madison, Wisconsin are worth a visit, all on their own, but visiting American Family Insurance and learning how far they’ve come with their social media efforts and their amplification of learning (catch it, Troy?) meant that enterprise adoption of these tools is here for some, and spreading to the mainstream. Interesting times, friends.
And in the Way Cool Department
I got to ride in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile:
Photo credits Wendy Soucie
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